Nothing beats the thrill of backpack hunting, but choosing the right lightweight gear is critical to saving weight and, ultimately, saving your energy as you head deep into the wilderness. Your gear needs to be ultra-light, but it also needs to be super strong and reliable. Here are five pieces of gear we’ve come across that are designed for ultra-light backpack hunting and serve as a solid foundation on which to build your backpack hunting kit.
Two Pound Condo
Weight and durability: two very important factors when choosing a tent for your next backpack hunt to chase bighorn sheep at 12,000 feet. The new KUIU Summit Refuge 3P is a tent/shelter that can be used three ways: floorless, with an installed floor, or with a full tent body made with a bathtub floor and mesh body to give you protection from the wet ground and bugs.
The Summit Refuge is dual trekking pole supported so the whole kit and caboodle weighs less than two pounds! It easily sleeps two people and has floorless, large vestibules to store gear. Available in late September. $300 | kuiu.com
Two Packs In One
When backpack hunting in remote places, hunters must be prepared to haul out their hard-earned animal. Kill two birds with one stone and choose a pack that is also a meat hauler. The Cabela’s Prestige 85L Frame Pack features a lightweight external frame with an integrated meat tray and a pack made of ultra-tough 210-denier nylon. It has a main compartment for essentials, two large mesh external pockets, and four external zipper pockets. $280 | cabelas.com
The Ultimate Bug Protection
I was perfectly comfortable hunting black bear in British Columbia last spring while my fellow hunters battled the hordes of mosquitos making their lives miserable. I had one thing they did not: a Thermacell. Don’t doubt the power of these little units. You can save your friends in camp with the lightweight Backpacker Mosquito Repeller. Weighing only four ounces, this little piece of heaven uses a 4-ounce gas canister to create a 15×15-foot zone of protection for up to 90 hours. $40 |thermacell.com
Save Your Meat
When hunting elk in the heat of September it’s important to get that precious meat to the freezer before it spoils. This is particularly critical for backpack hunters who may have to hoof their meat a dozen miles back to the trailhead. Slow down bacteria growth by using Koola Buck’s Anti-Microbial XL Game Bags and Anti-Microbial Carcass Spray. Using flavorless acids and bacterial inhibitors, these game bags reduce bacteria eight times more than standard game bags. Use the Carcass Spray on the meat to prevent insects from laying eggs as well as lower the growth of bacteria. Spray $13 | Game Bags $35 | koolabuck.com
If you’re looking for a hard-core mountain boot, then turn to Jagdhund, an Austrian-based company. Austria lies within the Central Alps, so believe us, they know mountain gear. These mid-height boots weigh two pounds and are made of thick leather. A rubber rand coating around the circumference bonds the midsole to the upper. A special flex zone in the heel adds protection to your Achilles’, while internal temperature-regulation keeps your feet comfortable at all altitudes. $452 | jagdhund.com